Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Decline of the Taliban: Part II

The Web site StrategyPage.com has some excellent analysis of the Taliban's feeble attempt at a spring offensive:

-On March 30, the site noted that "(w)ith most of the snow and mud gone, the Taliban has started attacking again. A suicide car bomber, 130 kilometers east of the capital, apparently detonated his explosives prematurely, killing only himself. Meanwhile, 650 kilometers southwest of the capital, a group of Taliban fired on a checkpoint, killing five soldiers, then escaped on motorcycles. But nearby troops took off after them and arrested the killers."

-On Monday, April 4, StrategyPage posted the following assessment:

The Taliban has killed a over twenty people in the last two weeks, and claim to be back in action. Recent incidents and threats have also been directed at foreign aid workers, diplomats, and UN personnel, rather than Afghan officials, troops, and police or Coalition troops. Avoiding attacks on Afghan personnel may be an effort to appear more "nationalist." Focusing on foreigners -- albeit not troops, who can shoot back -- may be seen as possibly playing well among the Afghan people, who historically don't like outsiders very much, even friendly ones. The new Taliban tactics are those of desperate men. Many Taliban are accepting amnesty and turning in those who continue to fight. The Taliban violence represents the efforts of a few hundred armed men operating as part time fighters.

A few hundred part-time thugs who have to resort to attacking people who can't fight back. Not exactly the sign of a movement in the ascendancy.


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